I am much more comfortable pulling a race to pieces, but this one just went really well for me….
Was a bit anxious as always, especially when I put my hand through the ankle of my very lovely new wetsuit… I will cut the legs so it doesn’t matter, but as I was being 10000% super careful was gutted to have damaged it so dramatically on the start line!
Donna was in bouncy happy pre-race mode and that made me smile and settled my nerves… if she was so happy and excited then what was to fear, nothing! We made our way to the front row, I kept myself to the right hand side… It was a great swim, most races something happens that sparks the ‘Oh god you’re drowning lets flush your legs with panic and lactic’ moment, not today. I got round the first buoy and settled down. Tucked close to a group just tight enough to get a draft, I stayed slightly back on the outside so I always had somewhere to go if I needed some space, it worked great. I thought maybe I wasn’t going hard enough but then thought, you know, it’s okay here, it doesn’t matter if the swim isn’t super fast, it’s warm and you feel okay, stay comfortable and get ready for the bike… turns out that was a great plan as I finished the swim happy and speedy, much quicker than I expected.
I did struggle getting my wetsuit off my ankles, it’s super snug! Once I got onto the bike I wasn’t overtaken for the rest of the race, that was an amazing feeling! The next wave were far enough behind that they weren’t going to catch – so it was just target after target… so much fun. The course wasn’t too crowded either. The dead-turns were fine, the only iffy bit on the bike was feeling sea sick along the front where subsidence has turned the tarmac from a road into a BMX pump track. Managed some fluid and a gel on the bike which was a good plan as the sun was roasting.
T2 I got stuck behind a guy walking slowly through transition, I tried to be my most patient racing self… As always it took time for my legs to get up to speed on the run… got into a comfortable quick-ish pace, spurred on my James telling me I was 6th (I was actually 7th) – once I saw that I was closing on three girls running together felt a little wave of excitement, not often a chance to move up so many places at once… James shouted that I was third, I wasn’t sure so sprinted anyway… I have a tradition of coming 4th so was super happy to have broken that with 3rd place overall, first in age-group. I am sure the run was short (4.75km) but I’m not complaining…
Congratulations to Donna and Arlene for also winning their age groups, fantastic performances and podiums all round, thank you Southport for a great race!
posted by Natalie Stevenson on